NS Starfire V Mod Idea

DThomasC

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While we're on the topic of 4-wire pickups, an interesting option is to wire one coil from each of two pickups in series.

What?!?!

OK, consider that a humbucking pickup has two coils wired in series. If you have two HB pickups (each with 4-wires) then you can use one coil from each pickup. When connected in series you get what is essentially a HB pickup with the coils spread really far apart. If you choose the right coils the combination will still be humbucking.

I did this on a Tele with TV Jones Filtertron style pickups and a 5-way Super Switch, but it should be possible to achieve with mini toggles and/or push-pull pots.

Anyway, I like the middle position on two-pickup guitars, but it usually come with some amount of mud compared to either pickup alone. Using one coil from each pickup, wired in series, seems to retain the clarity of a single pickup.

Unfortunately, the LB-1's on the NS SFV are not 4-wire, so the OP won't be able to do this. I have modified 2-wire humbuckers to be 3- or 4-wire, but it's not a procedure for the faint of heart.
 

GSFV

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Yeah...my soldering ventures have only just begun. haha. I'm not quite ready to try changing the wires of a PU. Plus I don't want to risk anything too big on my one and only Guild. I know the reissues don't get tons of love here, but she's special for me. I go back and forth between my American Standard Strat and the Starfire V as my #1. Which says a lot, because I've had the strat for over 10 years. I love them both a lot, and are on the never sell list! So for now, it's only very reversible mods on the Guild. Like OOP, Treble Bleed Circuit on the Master volume, etc etc.

I'm actually looking at getting a used Mexican Strat or Tele or something to try some of the more adventurous ideas in a "safe" environment. ie A guitar I'm not emotionally attached to or need to specific sounds. But we'll see.
 

parker_knoll

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Metric knurled split-shaft. Got it!! :encouragement:

Thank you!! Any other cool options to drop in a with a push-pull? I know coil splits aren't doable because of the 2 wire vs 4 wire. But any other cool options or ideas?
Has anyone mentioned series / parallel? I really like the in-phase in-series option on my L6S
 

GSFV

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I think GAD mentioned it. It sounds like it'd be worth a shot. I hadn't seriously considered it, until I thought about an out of phase in series sound. That might be fun. Usable? I have my doubts. But fun? OH yeah.
 

Quantum Strummer

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I'm actually looking at getting a used Mexican Strat or Tele or something to try some of the more adventurous ideas in a "safe" environment. ie A guitar I'm not emotionally attached to or need to specific sounds. But we'll see.
Fender's Ensenada facility makes great stuff. Sometimes the guitars are hampered somewhat by lower quality hardware (to meet price points) but that's not Ensenada's fault. I recently replaced the once-again (after years of good behavior) wonky neck on my Relic Nocaster (7lbs, 6oz…I'm into weighing stuff at the moment!) with a Mexican-made 7.25" radius rosewood-ish board jobbie with a nice medium-thick C profile. Switched to threaded brass saddles too. The guitar has never played or sounded better.

-Dave-
 
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GSFV

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I've recently become a big fan of them. A friend picked up a Mexico Tele on sale, and I was floored at the quality. It's really got me thinking... :eagerness:
 

Quantum Strummer

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So how was it? - or is it too long ago? or were you too new to know? Or ? ? ?
What I remember (after 30+ years) about the T-60's variable single-coil/HB feature is that I liked the sound best with the second coil just slightly on. This added a touch of weight to an otherwise thin-ish sound but without being obviously "humbuckery." Like dialing back the volume on one pickup in an out-of-phase setting to bring back some low end.

-Dave-
 

GAD

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What I remember (after 30+ years) about the T-60's variable single-coil/HB feature is that I liked the sound best with the second coil just slightly on. This added a touch of weight to an otherwise thin-ish sound but without being obviously "humbuckery." Like dialing back the volume on one pickup in an out-of-phase setting to bring back some low end.

-Dave-
The last thing a T-60 needs is more weight! :beguiled:
 

parker_knoll

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I think GAD mentioned it. It sounds like it'd be worth a shot. I hadn't seriously considered it, until I thought about an out of phase in series sound. That might be fun. Usable? I have my doubts. But fun? OH yeah.
I never really found a use for out of phase. Actually my old '66 SF-III was factory wired to be out of phase in the middle position. I changed it, of course. Series is actually an interesting sound - boosts the output!
 

GAD

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I never really found a use for out of phase. Actually my old '66 SF-III was factory wired to be out of phase in the middle position. I changed it, of course. Series is actually an interesting sound - boosts the output!
I spent most of my impressionable years with a Guild S300AD that had a phase switch but I never used it, mostly because I was a "bridge pickup into a high-gain amp with everything on 10 (except the mids)" kind of guy. Hey - it was the '80s.

Now I love the OOP tone. I agree, though, that a serial/parallel switch is a very cool addition.
 

DThomasC

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OOP can be a useful sound.,mostly for rhythm stuff with me. There's a range: turn both volumes up all the way. Depending on how your pickups are balanced, one or both of the volume knobs will have have a huge effect when turned down just a little. There's a large range of sounds in that tiny little turn of the knob.
 

parker_knoll

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I spent most of my impressionable years with a Guild S300AD that had a phase switch but I never used it, mostly because I was a "bridge pickup into a high-gain amp with everything on 10 (except the mids)" kind of guy. Hey - it was the '80s.

Now I love the OOP tone. I agree, though, that a serial/parallel switch is a very cool addition.
Maybe I should try it again :)

The OOP setting on the L6S has a cap to reduce the mids on the neck pickup resulting in less phase cancellation, therefore a less extreme (and less interesting) sound
 

GSFV

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Someone mentioned coil tapping earlier, and while it isn't the same as coil splitting, would it be possible on a reissue LB1? My understanding is that both aim to approximate single coil tones through different methods. In my brain a Split sounds somewhat like a weak single coil, where a coil Tap is more like a weak p90?

Coil tapping on each, and throwing in a OOP could be crazy!!
 

Quantum Strummer

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Coil tapping is generally done with hot single-coil pickups, to offer a cleaner & clearer alternative sound. Overwound P90s are good candidates for this. You can do it with HBs too…tapping one coil yields a similar cleaner & clearer alt sound but also reduces hum cancelling. Tapping both coils doesn't (in my experience) sound much different than running 'em at full strength in parallel rather than series. IMO parallel humbucking mode works especially well with Super Distortion-style pickups.

Coil tapping requires partially unwinding the coil(s) if not doing a complete rewind.

-Dave-
 

b0rn2w0rsh1p

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Well, of course having the original Guild knob is important. My biggest concern would be the extra depth required for the push me-pull you. Just to estimate, you may want to stick a ruler in the "f" hole and read how much depth you have. Unfortunately the first search didn't have dimensions (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/500KSSplitPP--emerson-custom-pro-push-pull-potentiometer-500k-ohm-short-split-shaft). Just looking at Pictures, it looks like CTS might make some that aren't as "long".

I have a DeArmond Opto-isolated (not the pre-amp or passive) Volume pedal - the only down-side is it requires 110V; but it is the quietest, most usable volume pedal ever - and since the signal doesn't go through a pot - no problems with treble-bleed, scratchy pots or only getting 95% rotation like with geared or string-driven ones. I never noticed a difference in treble using my DeArmond pedal - but I don't think I remember a change with the other pedals, usually using them for note and chord swells, but sometimes to pull back the volume if I'm too hot, and I'm too busy with my strumming hand.
 

b0rn2w0rsh1p

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Having had all double hum in a 'hog body Guilds for awhile (S-90, S-200, S-300), the OOP gave me that thin Strat or Tele sound, for when my rhythm "chunkin" had to cut through the mix...
 
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